Tuesday, November 12, 2013


AAP November 12, 2013  Corrective services Minister Joe Francis, who today announced a trial of high-tech chairs in WA jails that can scan the body ca
Corrective services Minister Joe Francis, who today announced a trial of high-tech chairs in WA jails that can scan the body cavities of prisoners and visitors. Picture: file image Source: News Limited
JAILS in Western Australia are trialling high-tech chairs which can scan the body cavities of prisoners and visitors to check for contraband, including phones and weapons. 

The chairs are the latest tactic being used by WA's Corrective Services, coming after revelations that a violent prisoner may have been using his Facebook profile to intimidate from inside prison.

Corrective Services minister Joe Francis confirmed they were investigating how messages were posted on the page of Brodie 'Krzy' King, who was jailed last year for dousing a car carrying two young children and threatening to set it alight.

The last post on King's page carried a message saying he was due to be released within two weeks, and "some people" needed to watch what they said.

This is despite all social media access being banned in WA jails.

The Facebook page had been removed today, after Mr Francis said they would find out whether King had been able to post the messages himself, or direct someone outside prison to do so.

"If it happened it would be alarming, and if it happened there would be consequences for the prisoner and he would be charged for having that device," Mr Francis said.

The minister admitted that around 40 phones had been found inside WA prisons last financial year, and 30 already this financial year. He attributed those numbers to the heightened steps being taken to detect them.

That includes specially trained dogs used to sniff out the lithium material in a mobile phone battery - and now the chairs. Widely used in American jails, the technology can instantaneously detect conductive metals, which may have been hidden in various body cavities.

The designers claim the chairs are a more consistent detection system than traditional walk-through scanners or handheld metal detectors, and are a non-invasive, non-contact search method. "Essentially when you come in and out of prisons and are someone of interest, you sit in the chair and the department will be able to scan you to see if you have any prohibited items in your body somewhere," Mr Francis said.

"We are doing more than than has ever been done in the history of WA to ensure the integrity in the prison system."

The scanning chairs - known as Body Orifice Security Scanners or BOSS for short - claim to be able to detect razor blades, handcuff keys, paper clips, knives, shanks and tools, telephones, metal foils and even detonator caps.



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